I tend to like or dislike genres and associated persons, and then find myself being surprised by how wrong such judgments can be. A prime example is Russell Brand. Before I really knew anything about him I thought he was a twat, mainly because of his shouting in the adverts for Big Brother’s Little Brother. Then I saw him on Jonathan Ross and changed my mind. He’s still a twat, don’t get me wrong. There isn’t really an excuse to singing on an old man’s answer-phone about his granddaughter’s sex life and menstrual cycle. But he’s not a twat I hate. In fact I adored his podcast and miss it dearly (thank you Daily Fail), and all the films I’ve seen him in I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. His autobiography remains the only one I’ve read in all my 20 years. I like Russell because he first taught me not too judge too quickly. I’ve had to be reminded of this lesson a few times, especially recently (22/12/09) after seeing 50 Cent on Graham Norton and N-Dubz on Jonathan Ross. Both of them I’d judged before, and both of them surprised me. It wasn’t life changing. I still probably won’t buy the music of either of them because it’s still not my thing, but now I don’t think that just because I don’t like the music I’m not going to like the people behind it. Boris Johnson may be a tory but he’s still pretty brilliant. Davina McCall may present Big Brother, a show that’s certainly had it’s day, but I still delight in watching her on other things because she is wonderfully enthusiastic. I need these people – celebrities and politicians and people in the limelight – to surprise me like this, to confront the judgments I make without even realising I’m making them, and to remind me not to make such judgments in my own life. If you make an unfair judgment about someone you actually meet, and you voice it, then it can really come back to bite you. Here there’s no television screen or radio grill protecting you from being judged in return.